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  1. Hi all, I've lurked in the forum for a little while now but thought I'd finally introduce myself to give my bit to the community and hopefully track my progress too. I took citalopram 20mg for 6 months in the first half of 2018 to try to help with symptoms of generalised anxiety. I tapered (in what I now know to be a rather quick fashion) over about 10 weeks and hence have been antidepressant-free since August 2018, one year ago. Luckily, I never really suffered with many of the physical side-effects that many describe here, whilst on the drugs, tapering, and off the drugs. But the biggest thing for me by far has been the sense of blunted emotions, anhedonia and sexual dysfunction that has arisen. I noticed these increase gradually while I was on the meds, and then increase dramatically after coming off. Whilst on the meds and even tapering, my overall experience was mixed - whilst the dulled emotions and sex drive bothered me, my anxiety was definitely reduced and I did have more of a sense of resilience to difficulties. The problems really started once off the meds. I assumed that these side effects would go away once I was off, but they actually got significantly worse. Combined, they have really led to a real sense of having lost who I was. The loss of libido has been particularly upsetting, having had quite a high sex drive previously and sex having played an important part in my life. Almost as bad is the loss of enjoyment in music, which I simply don't experience in quite the same way any more. A phrase that resonated with me a little was that of listening to an orchestra, but with the strings and percussion missing. You hear the music, but it just doesn't quite seem full or right. Emotionally I feel less empathy and love which impacted my relationship. The anxiety has still been numbed, the one small positive. But everything is numb. With regards to my sex drive, it's not at 0%, and I do have windows where things seem better, but they feel so fleeting and hard to grasp onto. And often the more I chase these feelings (via porn, say) the further away they seem. Progress seems so painfully slow and there are definitely low periods where I feel like it's never going to recover. But there are times when I can be aroused somewhat by porn/sex and a few magical times where it seemed like everything was back to normal. Recreational drugs sometimes helped me feel something too, though clearly aren't any sort of long term solution. I have found forums like this a mixed blessing. There is an awful lot of negativity around, from people sadly in a very bad place, who have been suffering for 3/5/7/10 years etc who are convinced that this is permanent, they'll never recover, life isn't worth living etc. In my bad times it can be very easy to follow this line of thinking, look at the timescales involved and fall into despair. Nevertheless the forums have been an invaluable source of information and sometimes inspiration - I tend to try to focus on the success stories and positives rather than wallowing in the tough bits. I can completely understand why most people wouldn't want to hang around here when they feel as if they've recovered - they move on with their lives - and I'm convinced that there is a lot of unreported recovery. People don't stay in the hospital when they are better, as the saying goes. Also however painful and slow, it would just seem very surprising to me if anything like this was really permanent. Brains just don't work like that and they are capable of remarkable healing, given enough time. I've recently been in quite a bad wave, brought on to a large extent by difficulties in a relationship which has now sadly ended in quite a difficult and messy way. Though I feel numbed, the end of the relationship has clearly impacted me and in a sense I guess is manifesting itself in this complete anhedonia (rather than high anxiety, which it might have done pre-meds.) Though I feel horrifically numb and flat at the moment, it's all still a bit recent and I know that I need to give myself some time and a chance to heal from the break-up. Anyway - I'll try to pop back here to post any updates I have or answer any questions from fellow forum members. Variance
  2. Hello to everyone, my story with antidepressant starts on 15-1-2019. Prior to this for 1 month I was in a panic and anxiety crisis, mainly due to work-related stress. I managed to overcome it almost completely but I was afraid and to be able to continue my work, I went to a psychiatrist's doctor. He gave me a citalopram solution, I started with 2 drops for 7 days. That was enough to make me a huge problem! The doctor did not believe me, or thought I was causing it from my anxiety, but I did not feel that before. I stopped myself on the seventh day, but for 1.5 months I could not be good. I had headache, insomnia, anxiety, I had to stop my job. I went to another doctor, nor did he believe that the drug created my problem. He gave me and started escitalopram first 5mg and after 10mg. Now I'm 75 days from the beginning I started. Anxiety and headache have improved, but insomnia persists, while I have new side effects, my nose shuts and I feel pain in the sinuses, I feel light-headed, the heartbeat has been reduced a little and I have tinnitus. Even though I do not have anxiety, I do not feel good and I can not work, especially the pain in my sinuses causes sinusitis and I'm sensitive to it. My doctor told me to stay for 1 year and then stop it. I want to stop it much earlier. But because of what happened at the beginning, I'm afraid and I'm looking for a way to do it without having the same problems. So I found this website too. Do you think it's easier for someone to stop it when it's been used for months or more time? Unfortunately I can not find escitalopram in a solution form, I think to turn the pills into a solution with water. Despite the fact that I have been taking it for months, I will apply the 10% method.
  3. Spring 2014: Effexor ? mg for 2 months then cold turkey (didnt know better at the time). Originally put on this for depression after a break up. Fall 2014: Dizziness, extreme memory issues, pins and needles in hands and feet. Occasional adderall use. Working 2 jobs to pay for engineering school. Health anxiety started when doctors couldn't find cause of symptoms. Tried samE, 5htp. Winter 2014-2015: tried molly with a friend. Ended up in the ER. Months that passed included many ER visits and eventually klonopin (? mg) Spring 2015: after researching benzo dangers wanted off. Tried to taper. Horrid withdrawal. Switched to diazepam 6mg. Dog/best friend died of cancer. Started celexa 10 mg. Rest of 2015: Moved back in with mom, slowly tapered diazepam, stopped daily on new years 2016. Winter-Spring 2016: back in school. Stopped celexa 10mg in January. Pins and needles and depression in February. Started on wellbutrin 150mg. Increased anxiety but allowed me to finish school. Graduated. Stopped wellbutrin after graduation. Summer 2016: quit job too much stress while going through what I now know to be withdrawal. Drove for ride share service when feeling well enough. Felt like living with chronic fatigue syndrome. No doctors could find cause. Fall 2016: started back on celexa 15mg after rock bottom depression. Eventually wellbutrin added back at 75mg. Moved to a new state. PM panic attacks started after going back on celexa. Started full time engineering job. Winter 2016 - Winter 2018: wellbutrin gradually increased to 300mg. Started celexa taper. 15 down to 10mg. Increase in depression but tolerable. Spring 2019: tapered celexa down to 5mg. Extremely depressed. Affected relationship. Found a psychiatrist who wanted to switch me to zoloft. Relationship break up the week of starting zoloft. Zoloft lifted depression at first. Summer 2019: got back together with boyfriend. zoloft increased to 50 then 75 then 100. Horrible reaction to 100mg. Worst anxiety of my life. Stopped cold turkey. Back on 2.5mg celexa. Dr Then tried liquid zoloft increase from 0 by 1mg every few days to cross taper with celexa. Able to stop wellbutrin easily. Also had tooth extraction during all of this (infected root canal). Fall 2019: up to 8mg zoloft 1mg celexa. Horrible anxiety. Stopped zoloft cold turkey after getting suicidal thoughts from severe anxiety. Current: trying to find a celexa dose to stabilize on. Trying 2.5 mg. Anxiety and fatigue battles daily. going to write more soon. Just wanted a quick recap to start.
  4. Seven/eight years ago, due to a peculiar set of circumstances, I ended up closing down the successful business I had founded. The loss of my business and financial resources lead to various problems in my life. About six years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on: Citalopram 10 mg/day. Axal (Alpralozam) 0.5 mg The immediate effect was that the anxiety disappeared. The depression got better (or at least the symptoms did), however I never returned to life of extreme activity like I had lead previously. About two years ago my medications were changed. Citalopram 10 mg twice a day i.e. 20 mg Effexor Xr 75 mg/day Axal 0.5 mg day. In these years I have tried quitting cold at least 4 times. Each time I had to go back on medications. The only success story is that I gave up Axal, a benzo, cold. I had no WD effects from giving up Axal. Today I only take Citalopram 20 mg and Effexor 75 mg. I must add that I also have Epilepsy since I was 13 years old. For the past 37 years I have been taking anti-epileptic drugs. My current drugs for Epilepsy are: Tegral 400 mg. Lumark 750 mg. These I cannot get rid off for obvious reasons. My only wish is to get off Citalopram and Effexor XR. I totally believe these do not help me. My anxiety has gone away, but I have this permanent listlessness. I was once an over-ambitious person and today I am totally flat. I don’t feel much emotions, and the desire to achieve success is gone. Failures and losses don't bother me either. This is not what and who I was. I’ve read many of the subjects here, including the wonderfully detailed Taper section. I do need your advice as to how I should approach my taper. Should I quit Effexor XR first or Citalopram? Any other advice on muti-drug taper would be welcome. PS: My daughter gets married in 3 months. I am planning to start a very low 5-10% taper immediately. Any advice? Thanks again.
  5. Hard to know where to start here. I’ve been on and off citalopram for about 10 years. Was on 40mg for a few years and was no longer working so I decided to taper off with doctors approval. This was a year ago. A week or so after being completely off of them I started having constant tension headaches and feeling super dizzy and off balance. This lasted 2 months and I went to a neurologist who said it was probably ssri withdrawal related. My doctor said there’s no way you are still having withdrawals after two months but we decided to put me back on them because I didn’t know what else to do. Everything went away. I decided to go off of them again a few months ago and try Something else since they weren’t really working in the first place I only went back on them to not have withdrawals anymore so I started viibryd And about a week after I was completely off citalopram I started having the same symptoms that I had a year ago. Thought that maybe it was the Viibryd so I switched it to Prozac. It’s been probably two months and I literally constantly feel like I’m going to fall over and I’m so dizzy and off-balance. I also have internal tremors and wake up shaking a lot. Nobody seems to really understand what’s going on especially my doctor and I’m so frustrated and want to just go back on it at this point I don’t know what to do
  6. I am coming off of citalopram for the second time. The first time was about eight months ago and I slowly weaned myself off. I still had a lot of side effects and emotionally was miserable. I was so irritable and snappy. I felt awful. I lasted eight months before my anxiety went up again and so after talking with my doctor, started back on citalopram 20 mg. I’ve now been on it for four months but want to wean off as I am planning to become pregnant and it was advised I should be off of citalopram before then. I’m really nervous because of how awful it was the last time but I am hopeful because I know what to expect, I can get through it. Just here looking for support and wisdom to make the next few months manageable. I’m also very nervous that after being off, if I become pregnant, what if my anxiety goes out of control again? Are there any supplements I can take that help with mood changes, etc? I’m trying to have a plan in place for healthy outlets and management for my anxiety and emotions during withdrawal. Thanks all!
  7. Hello guys, I'm Giuseppe from Italy. I've stumbled upon your website when looking for some help with the withdrwal sindrome that I'm experiencing in this period. I've finished tapering the Citalopram last week and now I feel some side effects (mostly dizziness). Just wonder if somebody is experiencing the same and how he/she is coping with that. Thanks to anybody who would like to give me some advices. best to all, Giuseppe
  8. Hi all. For me the trouble started in 2009 when i was in my last semester of college. For 3 years i lived at a student home where i had the best time of my life. Partying, smoking weed, going out, hanging out, cooking the food i want, making new friends, girlfriends etc. The tought of going home again after 3 years was making me feel a little depressed during the last semester. When I eventualy was home again and started my first job it hit hard. After a week of working there i was severly depressed and couldnt sleep anymore, was anxious about a lot of things. I went to my doctor and explained my situation. He put me on mirtazipine, that worked for the insomnia but that’s it. I had side effects like beeing nauseous all the time and sometimes loosing my balance. I had a job as a technical engineer who was working on heavy and dangerous machines, so I was anxious for doing wrong things that could kill me. After a few months I went back to the doctor and told him it wasn’t working, so he put me on another AD Cymbalta. During these first months of working I also quited smoking weed, After starting the cymbalta I also started smoking again, together with that and changing jobs I got back into positive spiral, quited the cymbalta with tapering down on my doctors advice(had brainzaps for a few weeks but nothing more). That lasted till my boss changed my function in the company due to the financial crisis. After a few months in my new job I was getting depressed again and I chose to change jobs again, that was at the end of 2010. From january 2011 till september-october it went well but then I got back into the negative spiral. I went back on the cymbalta and that was the beginning of HELL. On newyears eve I went to my first goa-party and did LSD for the first time, Awsome experience! I also played poker a lot that period and occasionally then I did cocaine. At the end of february when coming back from a trip to Portugal I felt a lot of energy, no depression, feeling like the king of the world… Didn’t know this was (hypo)mania. I quited my job, I just walked out one day without saying anything never to return. From february until may I partied, went to bars, the casino, spending money, doing a lot goa-parties. Sleeping less and less because I didn’t feel tired at all, LSD,coke,weed, etc. Eventually I got into a severe manic-psychose. I was forced into a psych ward (for 30 days at first)were I was tied down in the isolation unit for a couple of weeks until I got less manic-psychotic. They gave me Zyprexa & Etumine. When I stabilized after a month and or so I heard that I was forced for another 3 months because my psychose was so severe. I tought ok, I can live with that. I changed from the crisis department in the psych ward to the addicts department. There I was left to rot ,I developed severe depression & anhedonia in a few weeks. I told to the psydoc that I was depressed and wanted Cymbalta, didn’t get it but he upped my Zyprexa, without result. A month later I said to him that it’s getting worse so he added Abilfy. That didn do anything but side effects like I couldn’t keep my legs still, my walking style changed, I stiffened in walking, my eyesight was weird I kept involuntary staring at things. During that time at the addicts department the only therapy I got was 2 times a week one hour of fitnesstherapy and the rest of time was ergotherapy, were nothing interested me. Soon I quited the ergotherapy and stayed in bed all day watching TV. After the 3 months were gone I tought it was over. Wrong, my psydoc said you are not stable! I was forced another 3 months. At the addicts department most people were talkative and I was silent. At the beginning they said to me that it will get better and understood me, but after a while no one talked to me… After some time I asked to be moved to the psychose-departement for the time I was left there. I got there and it was quiter and the nurses were friendlier and took care of the patients. But the psydoc there (a new one) forced me another 3 months there, I was in no state to leave the hospital she said. But I got my Cymbalta back, hoped it will work, but it didn. After those 3 months I wasnt forced to be there anymore but they advised that I would. I got the hell out of the psych ward! I quited the AP’s (zyprexa, Abilify) CT. At first when I was back home I stayed most of the time in my bed, I don’t think I realy had WD symptoms. Time went by and I started to do things again and had interest in wat was going on in the world. It went wrong again at some point because I was using weed and coke again. Had another manic-psychose and was forced to the psychward again. Was forced Zyphadera(liquid Zyprexa) injections, seroquel XR, depakote and diazepam. After 4-6 months I was allowed to go home and live with my parents, again I was a zombie. For months I dindn do much. I did keep taking my meds until the point I went out to go fishing a lot (mostly at night) I forgot to take my meds on regularly base, slept not enough and got manic again. I checked in to the psychward voluntarily because my parents said it was getting out of control again. After 2 hours there they told me that I was again forced to stay there… same story: stabilized after a few weeks then going down into a downwards spiral again. That was around may 2016 when I got out I was taking: zyprexa(10mg), seroquel (200mg), depakote(1000mg), trazodone(100mg) That was currently my last vacation @ the psych ward. Now I go to my usual doctor to get my Rx’s. He also given me effexor (150mg) and citalopram (10mg) for depression but I don’t think it’s working… I keep taking my meds as I should but i’m anhedonic, no interest in anything, no energy, fat because of the AP’s etc. At my last visit with my doc I asked to maybe change something to my meds because i’m tired all day and he changed my seroquel from 200 to 100mg. At that point I started to do research about withdrawal symptoms and general info about AP’s and AD’s when I got to this forum. Currently after 3 weeks of my taper from 200 to 100mg seroquel i’m feeling no WD symptoms. I’m now taking: 10mg zyprexa, 100mg seroquel, 150mg effexor, 10mg citalopram, 100mg trazodone I want to get off of as much of these drugs as possible as I fear i’m going to be a zombie for life. I don’t do weed, lsd, or coke only sometimes a lite stimulant to get something done... Any of you guys know what to taper first?
  9. I have two experiences of taking and stopping antidepressants. The first time was in 2003. I was in graduate school, we had just moved into a new house that needed lots of work, we had a 3 year old, and my best friend was given 5 months to a year to live. It was a horrible time in my life. I knew that I had to get through this time without completely shutting down. I went to my doctor and told her I needed anything that would help. She set me up for counseling twice a week and a prescription for Prozac 10 mg, increasing to 20 mg. The Prozac was a miracle for me. I took it for 1 year and had little issues. I did have some strange side effects like greater risk taking (spontaneously bought a new car without consulting my spouse). The car was the biggest thing. I had sexual side effects that are considered normal. When the worst of it was over I knew I didn't need it anymore. I told my MD and we made a tapering plan that I followed. There were some possible issues that I realize, looking back. More intense feelings of anger, disappointment, and sadness. But it was mixed with a difficult time in life so I couldn't really see the possible symptoms. Fast forward 15 years. I hit another part of my life that I felt I could benefit from an antianxiety or antidepressant. After being married for 19 years and having three kids my wife was diagnosed with bipolar disorder II. She had been treated for depression for several years but the meds and antidepressants never seemed to be a good fit. So my life was consistently up and down for years. At this time though, I was experience some early menopause symptoms (perimenopause) and my own emotions were on a roller coaster. Being our family's stability anchor I knew that I needed help to get through this. I found myself yelling at my kids for very small issues then apologizing over and over. That was not typically me. Since I had a good experience with Prozac I talked to my MD about it. She agreed but prescribed me Celexa (citalopram) 10 mg with increasing to 20 mg over time. At first she told me to take it prior to my cycle 5 days before, but my cycles became so irregular that was not possible. I ended up taking it daily for 5 years. Then I did something really stupid. I was not taking it regularly (on 3 days off 4) over and over due to a very hectic travel schedule for work. After one of my week long work trips in Nov 2017 I discovered that I had not taken it in 10+ days and I decided that I didn't need it anymore....so I stopped, cold turkey. For about 4 weeks I was fine...then on a long flight home from another trip, I broke down. I started crying about all the issues in my life, my kids life, life in general. I am mostly a positive and strong person but I could only see the futility in things. The cycle of climbing a hill only for gravity to pull us down. The pointlessness of all our real efforts. I came home feeling dead inside. I was an emotional zombie. After a couple of days I decided to lay this all out to my wife. She was surprised but decided that I was exhausted emotionally and physically and needed a rest. She took over most of the responsibilities with the house and kids that I had. She let me rest. But rest did not make it better. She checks in often and ask me how my day was going, my text answers are something like, dead inside, vacant, empty, I miss myself, I feel nothing, I have no desire to do anything, I don't care about anything, etc.Outwardly though, I am tense, easily angered, overwhelmed, discontent, agitated, nervous, and obsessive about stupid stuff, etc. I have never suffered from depression and my life was better than it has ever been, but it often seemed like depression. That's when I started looking for answers. That's when I found SA. Everything started making sense. The pains I have, the insomnia, the depression, all of it. It's been 3 1/2 months and I don't think that taking them again and tapering down is going to be a better option for me. I've been going through the HELL OF IT and I don't want to do it again for any reason. I have to get through this. I have to get better. I have not gone back to my doctor to tell her this story. I don't know what it would matter but to prove how stupid I was. Afterall, she DID tell me that I would need to taper and I didn't. I justified it thinking inconsistency WAS tapering...it is NOT. Now what? Everyday I feel miserable. Every.day. But it's inconsistent. Sometimes it lifts for a while and doesn't come back as severe. I call that progress. I'm hanging on to that. I regret not tapering but I'm in too deep at this point and I will suffer it out as long as I am able. Having a BP wife has helped because REALLY understands. Thanks for the read. I'm so glad I found this community. I'm in here somewhere trapped in the neurochemical eclipse and you probably are too. Stay strong.
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